Tired of Working for a Living

PicsArt_05-25-06.04.04This is my fifth week of working in graveyard shift for twelve hours a day. I’m not complaining, just giving you an idea of what I’ve been up to lately. I am sometimes light headed when I reach home after work, around ten in the morning and I can’t do anything but crawl into bed and shut my eyes. My body is as vulnerable as a tiny slipper that gets worn out after twelve hours of walking in a rough and muddy road. Sleeping is like a precious gem to me, rare and valuable because it is certainly a blessing if I can manage to sleep in the day for straight four hours uninterrupted by harsh rays of sun or growling stomach without lunch or sometimes breakfast too. Sleeping is also like a clean water, necessary for survival because I’m not a fictional superhero with super resilience and though sometimes I think I’m strong enough but my weak and scrawny physique always betrays me. My weight can’t help but decrease.

I put my earphones on while I was headed to work and I randomly chose a song in my phone. The lyrics went on…

Nothing else matters,
Nothing in this world will do
‘Cause Jesus You’re the center,
Everything revolves around You
Jesus You,
At the center of it all

I was astonished. I heard that song for a thousand times before but at that moment the lyrics hit home. It seemed like I was doing a tough school project for many nights and days. I earned eye bags, gastric ulcer and malnourished body for the sake of the project which was impossible to perfect. Then one day before the deadline came my teacher said, “Who told you that there’s a required project? No need. I already gave you perfect score.” I froze in disbelief and I wanted to shout because I couldn’t contain myself. It felt like I was planning to have a plastic surgery on my face and body because I thought nobody would love me because I was hideous. I was also extremely fearful and anxious about knives but the longing for someone who can adore and value me was stronger than the horrible cuts of blades. But before the procedure a handsome man brought me flowers in my house and told me, “I need to tell you this before it’s too late. Please don’t alter any single part of your body because I love you for who you are.” I was close to tears because of relief and overwhelming bliss. This kind of emotion was the same thing I felt when I heard the song ‘Jesus At The Center’ by Israel and New Breed. I was often thinking about money for the past few months. Money was my reason for enduring sleepless nights. We are all working hard for money, aren’t we? When I was too ill to get up and continue my life I would stare at my passbook and I could muster enough strength to go on. The list of the things I want to purchase was my motivation to work hard even though I was weary and unhappy. I was thinking that those commodities would satisfy and comfort me. Then all of a sudden, I heard a beautiful music saying, “Nothing else matters. Nothing in this world will do. Nothing, nothing else matters. Your money doesn’t matter. Your latest gadget doesn’t matter. Your brand new car doesn’t matter. Your trendy shoes don’t matter. Your bank account doesn’t matter.” My heart cried not because of disappointment but because of solace. I thought earning more money could make me happy and content but I ended up more and more tired and devastated. If money would make me happy then why do I feel like I’m drowning in the deep abyss of misery? I realized that focusing so much on material possession caused me to neglect the most important thing which is eternal. “Cause Jesus You’re the center. Everything revolves around You. Jesus You at the center of it all.” I can’t remember when was the last time I earnestly read the Bible. Nowadays I find it hard to concentrate when I am praying because the world is such a busy place. Wealth is essential in the world but I forgot that when I die everything else that I see now doesn’t matter.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. -Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

The above verses are crystal clear to me. I was tired of working for twelve hours a day and six times a week to earn a living, to build my dream home and to buy the latest DSLR cameras. I can’t just stop working but God put in my heart now and in your hearts as well that these things are not the main reason why we are breathing. We are living for eternity. We are more than this. We are entitled for something more. We are living in this world but we are citizens of heaven.

This song is the message of God to us today:

4 Life Changing Lessons I Learned in 2016

IMG_20170101_080516_866[1].jpgGoodbye 2016 and I’m saying hello to 2017 with enthusiasm, unceasing faith and full of hope. Fear and anxiety are enemies to conquer but our God is always the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He always reminds us to be fearless and to be joyful in every circumstance. So let’s celebrate new beginnings and new opportunities as we bear in mind the lessons 2016 taught us. I would share with you my top lessons learned and I would like to hear yours as well.

1. Don’t let anyone’s criticism and judgment define who you are. Find and embrace your true identity in Christ. This is really a life changing for me because as I wrote on my previous blog post On The Mind of a Self-proclaimed Ugly, I grew up hearing criticisms and negative judgment about me that influenced how I perceived myself. I am never embarrassed to say that I was battling with insecurity and low self-esteem because God helped me overcome it. We are not defined by the mistakes that we made in the past, the physical attributes that other people see us, the money we have in our pocket, the family we grew up with, the ailments that impede us, our weaknesses and failures. You are beautiful because God created you in His image. You are His masterpiece, the apple of His eye, dearly loved and blessed. Those things had no huge impact on me before because I was skeptic. I was conforming to the world’s definition of beauty. I was blinded by glamorous faces with false eye lashes and perfect curves in pretty skirt and high heels. I’m living in the world where people treat the wealthy with so much respect and adoration while the poor is maltreated and discriminated. In this modern times, people became obsessed with compliments by posting too much on social media to boost their ego by the praises they can get. I wasn’t happy. We are not born to please this world. I realized that we are not created to become pleasing in the sight of handsome men who will only break our hearts. We are created for God and let Him define our real identity.

 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. -Ephesians 2:10 NLT

2. God is real no matter what you feel. There were times when I felt like God was so far away that I couldn’t even feel Him. They say some Christians’ faith becomes so intense and the other day that heat subsides. So you always have to keep that fire burning by constantly reminding yourself about God’s promises. The truth is there are plenty of distractions that lure us away from His presence. The temporary enjoyment that feels like heaven. But always remember that heaven God has promised is not temporary. I love the song Your Promises by Elevation Worship. The chorus goes like this, Doesn’t matter what I feel, doesn’t matter what I see. My hope will always be in Your promises to me. Now I’m casting out all fear for Your love has set me free. My hope will always be in Your promises to me.

I have learned that my feelings and emotions are temporary. Sometimes I do forget to pray and to pause for a while in the midst of busyness and fatigue. Sometimes we feel that God is just an idea we flesh out in our mind to save us from the abyss of misery. We doubt His presence when problems kick in or we become oblivious to God’s existence when we feel that everything is perfect. The past year taught me that my feelings are short-term but God is eternal, infinite. He is as real as the air that you breathe which is unseen, as real as the rays of the sun that warms the earth which is intangible, as real as the empty holes in our hearts that long to be filled which is unnoticed. God is real.

3. Accepting each other’s differences is the start of learning to love others. I wrote When is a Time to Hate and a Time to Love? in my previous post after the time I was struggling to love others the way God expects us to do. I learned to accept that others might have points of view and reactions which are different from mine because everybody has his or her own share of personal experiences that molded us into who we are today. When someone contradicts me because he or she has dissimilar idea, instead of hating and bashing that person I must remind myself that he or she also has her or his own opinion that matters. He or she might sound illogical and ridiculous but God also loves him or her the way He loves you. It’s not as simple as that, I know, but I keep on learning.

4. Private life is a happy life. Yes, I still post on social media especially on Instagram but I choose carefully which to post. I realized that I became happier when I protect myself from gossips and judgments by others based on my social media posts. I learned the value of privacy when it comes to my relationship. When your personal life is on display, you’ll get defensive. When you post arguments that you had with your partner, you’re betraying him or her. We can’t trust everyone. Save ourselves from invaders because it’s not their business and value the relationship more by not seeking validation from the world but from God.

Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. -Proverbs 26:20 NIV